COVID Spurs Business Video Reckoning

By: Steve Vonder Haar

Senior Analyst with Wainhouse Research

For many enterprise IT managers, the day of video reckoning is near.

After all, many workers are developing quite the appetite for video-enriched communications as they work from home during COVID-19 quarantines. Months of using Cisco Webex, Zoom and a range of webcasting solutions has introduced literally thousands of workers to the idea that video can help them stay engaged and productive.

But as these workers begin trickling back into the office (hopefully sooner rather than later), some may be in store for a rude surprise. It turns out that many corporate networks are not well suited for managing and distributing video behind the firewall. With this in mind, just imagine the reaction of workers as they begin to recognize that video actually works better in the guest bedroom that it does at their workplace.

Indeed, if you’re an IT manager, you may already be able to hear the steady drumbeat of complaints from the office rank-and-file who are beginning to experience just how useful and effective business video can be. But I’m betting it’s not the first time you’ve heard grumbling about your organization’s video strategy.

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, many IT managers already were experiencing pressure to get their act in order. Among 345 IT respondents surveyed by Wainhouse Research in the fourth quarter of 2019, 65% said they “strongly agree” with the statement that “management in our organization is pushing the IT department to make more video communications solutions available to employees.”

In a post-COVID environment, it’s likely that IT managers will be surrounded on all sides with video evangelists demanding access to enhanced communications solutions. Moving forward, IT teams will have little choice but to find ways to improve the video platforms supporting workers in their organization.

Doing this can be easier said than done, however. As illustrated in Wainhouse survey results above, IT executives worry about a lot of different issues when contemplating investments in video-enabling technologies.

Almost half (49%) of survey respondents surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2019, for instance, say that the ability to “secure content from those not authorized to view” is a very important technical feature influencing the streaming technology purchase decision. A similar proportion of respondents attribute an equal level of importance to the ability for software solutions to “search content to find relevant videos.”

Overall, 11 different technical issues were deemed as “very important” to the IT survey respondents. From being able to manage the distribution of video to having the tools needed to track viewership, IT managers have much on their minds when evaluating the platforms that are best suited to addressing their organization’s needs.

Some of the issues can be addressed simply through the implementation of solutions that enable organizations manage their video on a more centralized basis. Once this type of solid foundation is in place, corporate administrators are in better position to address the specific challenges of content management and distribution as they work to scale video solutions to meet burgeoning demand.

But centralizing your streaming solution is only one technique that an organization can employ when trying to set an effective technology implementation plan into motion. To help you avoid your day of video reckoning, Wainhouse Research has recently published a white paper that discusses the best practices that organizations can embrace as they craft a viable long-term strategy for implementing video technologies. Click here to access a free copy of the report.

Also, mark your calendars for a July 30 webinar featuring a discussion between myself and Vbrick CEO Shelly Heiden in which we will explore these themes of video digital workplace transformation in greater detail. You can register for the free online event by clicking here.

Steve Vonder Haar is a Senior Analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at svonder@wainhouse.com